ERI analysis: The PFI deal was flawed

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I THINK it would be almost impossible for NHS Lothian to part ways with Consort now.

They can have their legal experts look at the details of the contract, and I would hope they can get some compensation for the problems Consort have caused, but after ten years I would be very surprised if they can get away from Consort entirely.

These contracts were drawn up by teams of lawyers and they are now a commodity. The PFI deal was flawed when it was signed in 1999.

The annoying thing is that we were pointing all this out when they were formulating this agreement.

It’s been a money-spinner for the people behind this at Consort. We were saying it’s a set-up doomed to cause problems and earn the PFI partner a lot of money, and this is what is happening.

The main problem is the way the Royal Infirmary was funded whereby the hospital is run by one organisation and another – the NHS – is working in it.

We need to have one unified body running the health body and these things would be less likely to occur.

• Dr Ian McKee is a former SNP MSP for Lothians